Whether you’re launching a new start-up or attempting to give your existing company a jumpstart, it’s essential to take into account the newest trends in business development and marketing. Here are a few of the most significant business trends to consider if you hope to maximize your profits in 2015.
Rise of the Share Economy
The UK government considers the “sharing economy” the future of the country. If you’re thinking of launching a business this year, you might want to consider jumping on this particular bandwagon.
Also known as collaborative-consumption companies, share businesses allow consumers to borrow goods and services from others for a limited period. In return, owners earn money for their unused assets. From driver services like Uber, to rental companies like Airbnb, peer-to-peer businesses are clearly on the rise. In fact, a recent article suggested that the UK share economy could be worth £9bn alone by 2025.
If you want to give your business a leg-up in 2015, consider jumping on the share-business bandwagon.
Anyone who’s attempted to launch a new business knows how hard it can be to get off the ground, and we all know that a great idea is no guarantee of success. Crowdfunding, or raising capital by collecting small donations from many people, is an increasingly popular way of funding a business during its early stages. In 2013, the Financial Times (paywall) claimed the UK Crowdfunding market was worth £1bn and expected to keep growing.
Not only does Crowdfunding give you the cash to launch, but it also shows potential investors that there’s a market for your services. In the past, startups had little choice but to rely on bank loans for financing. With Crowdfunding, entrepreneurs show that their product has potential. After all, financiers are more likely to jump on a project if you can provide evidence that it’s the next “big thing.”
It’s only natural to want to target your goods to the widest range of consumers. However, if you want to ensure a successful 2015, you need to admit that some people simply aren’t going to buy your products.
As such, instead of focusing all their attention on finding new customers, many of today’s businesses invest effort in identifying the people they don’t want to target. Also known as anti-personas, these customers don’t represent a good fit for your business, and marketing to them will likely be a waste of time. For example, a gardening company is unlikely to sell its services to someone who lives in a tiny London flat.
By solidifying your anti-marketing strategy, you can devote more energy and resources to finding those clients who will actually help you grow your profits moving forward.
It’s no secret that today’s consumers have high expectations of their merchants. With e-commerce increasing competition for businesses in almost every sector, customers no longer have to settle for second best. If they hope to survive, companies must abandon mass-produced goods and offer greater options for customisation in the coming years.
Not only does personalising products help increase their value, but it also encourages clients to be loyal to your brand over the competition. Companies should take the time to determine what customisation options their clientele will value most rather than overwhelm them with alternatives. For example, US-based online retailer Eshakti has achieved Stateside success by selling affordable, custom-sized clothing made to the buyer’s specifications. Customisation is especially important if businesses hope to target the elusive but all-important Millennial generation.
Are you planning to market your products and services to Millennials this year? If not, you may be missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your company’s profits.
Referring to individuals who reached adulthood around the year 2000, Millennials currently make up about 23% of the UK population. Because of their higher levels of education, Millennials often have more disposable income than other groups. Additionally, their comfort with technology means that Millennials are more likely to promote your services on social media. As a result, they have serious buying power in today’s marketplace.
To reach the Millennial generation, businesses need to adjust not only their marketing strategy but also their overall company philosophy. For example, Millennials put greater emphasis on corporate social responsibility than other generations. In fact, companies can gain or lose supporters based on their social philosophies alone.
As a business owner, it’s both your right and your responsibility to determine what direction your company will take in the months and years to come. Do your research on emerging trends so you can better drive your business forward.